I was thinking about the seasons recently, and how they affect the trees (I’m a big nature nut, since I do so much hiking as a hobby and to keep fit). So I was thinking how a tree goes through its own seasons, what with being so full of green leaves in the Spring, becoming full of brightly
colored leaves in the Fall, and then losing those leaves in the Winter. But these things are important for its growth in the long run.
So it made me think of bipolar disorder in that these things signify change, and change is important to your and your loved one’s growth as well. Without change, things just stay the same forever, and that’s not good for anyone. Without change, you just keep making the same
mistakes over and over again. Change is an integral part of the therapy that your loved one should undergo as part of their treatment for their bipolar disorder.
But in order to change, you must first see the need to change. There can be no change without this. The great philosopher Santayana said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I don’t think he meant it bad like dwelling on the past, but as in looking at your past mistakes so that you can learn from them. And that involves change.
I think the next step after recognizing the need for change is to have the willingness to change.
Because some people can even acknowledge that some things need to be changed, but they’re not willing to make those necessary changes, so nothing gets changed in their life, and they just
keep making the same mistakes over and over again. But if you have the willingness to change, then you can do something positive.
Then you have to actually do something about it, because change doesn’t always just happen
by itself. Of course, sometimes it does…like inevitable things. For example, you age all by yourself, it has nothing to do with any effort on your part, it’s just a natural part of life. But as far as it relates to fixing past mistakes and not making them again…well, those things you can help. So those things you do have to decide willingly to change, and to make an effort to do so.
So after you see the need to change, and you are willing to change, then you decide to make
that change, and you do so. But the thing is, and here’s where it gets tricky…You have to exercise a bit of patience when it comes to making changes. Because many changes take TIME to put into place. Most changes don’t happen overnight. Even if the initial change does happen overnight, it doesn’t become a permanent change without taking time. So you need to understand that you’re going to need to have patience when you’re making changes in your life.
Especially when it comes to coping and dealing with your loved one and their bipolar disorder.
Say, for example that you want to make some changes there. For example, you’re not happy with the way your loved one acts during a bipolar episode, and how they don’t see that there are consequences for what they do during that episode. So far, everything you’ve tried hasn’t done any good to get them to take responsibility for their actions. They always seem to get away with things, usually because you “rescue” them, and you don’t like it. So you need to make a change in your approach to your loved one. So you want them to start taking responsibility for the consequences of what happens during their bipolar episodes, and to change your own behavior – in other words, you want to stop rescuing them from those consequences.
You can say something like: “When you’re in a bipolar episode, I don’t like the things you do, but I always seem to rescue you from the consequences of them. From now on, you’re going to have to pay your own consequences for your own actions and behavior.”
So you change your own behavior in hopes that your loved one will change their behavior. I’m not saying that this will work (sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t)…Because everyone with bipolar disorder is different (in fact, everyone, whether they have the disorder or not, is different)…And you can’t control anyone else, or control what they do. You only have control over yourself. So all you can do is to change your own behavior. And instead of getting angry about how your loved one acts during a bipolar episode and the consequences from it, you can simply stop rescuing them.
Making changes indicates growth.
Well, I have to go!